Eazi Grip

Jonathan Rea must wait for final round to try and secure sixth world title

 

Jonathan Rea must wait until the final round of the World Superbike series to try and secure a sixth title in a row after he finished fourth behind winner Scott Redding in Race Two in France.

Redding’s victory meant Rea had to finish in the top three to tie up the championship but he remains very well placed to seal the crown in Estoril.

Rea had won the first feature race on Saturday and Sunday’s Superpole event.

Englishman Redding trails Rea by 59 points with a maximum of 62 remaining.

The Portugal circuit will host a round of the World Superbike Championship for the first time on 16-18 October.

Kawasaki-mounted Rea was the early leader of the second feature race of the weekend at Magny-Cours on Sunday but was overtaken by Redding on lap four of 21, the Duacti rider taking command to run out the victor by 2.5 seconds and claim a fifth race success of the season.

Behind the Ducati rider, Frenchman Loris Baz moved ahead of Rea with 11 laps remaining and with 14 laps to go Welsh rider Chaz Davies also slipped past the defending champion at the Nurburgring chicane to push him out of a rostrum spot.

Rea, 33, survived a couple of scares in damp but drying conditions but stayed on as he appeared to suffer tyre degradation problems for much of the race.

Fifth Superpole race win of season

Earlier in the day, Rea achieved his 99th career victory in the series on his 300th start in the 10-lap sprint race.

On a wet track, the Northern Irishman ended 2.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Alex Lowes, with Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark third.

Having won race one on Saturday, the Kawasaki rider assumed the lead of the Superpole race on turn two after pole sitter, Rea’s compatriot Eugene Laverty, had led into the first corner.

Rea maintained a steady advantage over Lowes throughout to take the chequered flag and secure his 11th win of the season and his fifth out of seven Superpole events.

The 33-year-old now boasts eight wins at the French circuit and remains within touching distance of a historic sixth world title – two more than England’s Carl Fogarty managed in his illustrious career.

Rea had clinched his last three titles at Magny-Cours – in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

‘Two big goals’ in Estoril

“Leading by 59 points means we can go to Estoril with a good feeling. I need to score three points and then I can really enjoy the weekend there,” said Rea after Sunday’s action.

“The goal will be to prepare like always, be fully focused in the sessions at a new track for me. I can allow myself to think about the possibility of the championship now.

“I was relieved to cross the line in Race Two because I was struggling quite a bit, especially in the acceleration areas.

“It was the first time during the weekend I had ridden on a drying track and that highlighted a few weaker areas for us.

“It would be nice to win the championship with my 100th win but the most important thing is the championship. It’s pretty cool to have two big goals to aim for there.”

World Superbike Championship standings
Jonathan Rea (GB) Kawasaki 340
Scott Redding (GB) Ducati 281
Chaz Davies (GB) Ducati 222
Michael van der Mark (Ned) Yamaha 203
Alex Lowes (GB) Kawasaki 179
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Tur) Yamaha 175

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2020 in News

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